Surviving working in an office environment as an introvert is tough. So many people, so many meetings, so much small talk! It’s EXHAUSTING. As someone who has been working in a corporate office for the past ~14 years, I feel your pain! After years of wishing I was an extrovert and outgoing, I have decided to just accept myself for who I and I have learned a trick or two along the way for keeping (somewhat) sane while at work!
1. Book some time for yourself
As an introvert, it is more important than ever to book some time in your calendar to take some time for yourself. Introverts are recharged by spending time alone and so this time during the work day is imperative to your success. Every day, schedule sometime for yourself, even just an hour, so that you have an opportunity to not be around people and to breathe and recharge
2. Get out when you can
I get it, some days are so busy that you barely have time to go to the bathroom, let alone take a break, but as an introvert who is drained by the company of others, you need to find some time in your day to get out. Go for lunch or coffee, or even a walk or drive (if you have your car with you during the day). It will re-energize you and prepare you to take on the rest of the day
3. Have something in your office that makes you feel calm when you look at it
It might be personal pictures, a plant, or even just a pretty notebook. Keep something in your office or at you desk that gives you that sense of calm and serenity. For me, it’s my personal pictures, whenever I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed I look at them and it reminds me of home and I instantly feel a sense of calm wash over me
4. Don’t be afraid to say no
Sometimes all of the lunch and social event invites can get really overwhelming for an introvert and create more stress than is really necessary. The best way to deal with this is to say no sometimes, although it’s not always possible to skip out on a work event, if it’s really something that you don’t need to be a part of, don’t go. Your mental health will thank you!
5. Have some small talk ideas ready to go
It’s inevitable that at some point you are going to have to engage in small talk, especially around the office. Instead of shying away from it, find some common ground and work from there… if you’re a shoe person, make a comment on someone’s shoes. If you’re in the kitchen and someone is making tea, ask them what kind it is. It doesn’t have to be anything earth shattering, but a small comment can go a long way and will help you to feel more like part of the team
Hopefully this helps you, even just a little bit, to get through the day as an introvert in an extroverts world! What are some of your own tips for surviving work? I would love to hear them!